Overcoming public health risks to staff during the management of waste from healthcare facilities: case studies from Italy

Mentore Vaccari, Andrea Perteghella, Martina Stolfini, Terry L Tudor

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The management of public health risks is a key focus for the European Union. One of the key factors that has been shown to pose a public health risk is that of the management of needles from healthcare facilities. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: Using audits of two case study hospitals based in northern Italy, this study sought to examine the key factors that resulted in needle stick injuries amongst staff and suggest measures to minimise these risks. Findings: The number of needle stick injuries was influenced by various key factors including the time period during the year, the length of time employed, the location within the site, staff category and working hours. Practical implications: Suggestions for overcoming the risk factors, including redesigning working patterns, staff training and awareness building, and the use of safety-engineered devices are outlined. Originality/value: This study examined the incidence of needle stick injuries amongst healthcare staff in two Italian hospitals, which was lower than in other countries due to various factors, including recapping of needles not being allowed, the introduction of self-retractable needles and awareness campaigns about the correct disposal procedures of potentially infectious waste.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-630
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Medical waste management
  • NSSI
  • Needle stick injuries
  • Public health

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